This year, the Commission and Football Federation Victoria (FFV) are delighted to announce that soccer is the latest major sporting code to sign up to Fair go, sport! - a unique project that celebrates sexual and gender diversity in sport by increasing awareness and promoting safe and inclusive sporting environments for everyone.
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins congratulated FFV for taking a stand against homophobia.
"It is fantastic to see a major football code taking this issue to the national stage. Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia are serious health issues that do serious harm to people around the country. There is no place for discrimination in football or in any other sport."
Ms Jenkins said it was great to see new sports and clubs getting behind Fair go, sport! Since its inception, six new sports have joined Fair go sport! which are Hockey Victoria (which has been our pilot sport since the beginning of Phase 1), Basketball Victoria, Cycling Victoria, Skate Victoria, Roller Derby and now FFV.
"Through creating a supportive and welcoming environment, Football Federation Victoria has put out the welcome mat to all players. As more sporting codes sign up to Fair go, sport! the Commission looks forward to a more systematic approach to reducing the discrimination faced by same sex attracted and sex gender diverse (SSASGD) people in sport generally," said Ms Jenkins.
"Everyone, regardless of who they are, should feel safe enough to participate in sport without facing discrimination," Ms Jenkins said.
"As a soccer Mum I am really pleased that when my kids go to sports practice, through Fair, go sport! they will learn about fairness and treating their team mates equally from a young age," said Ms Jenkins.
Football Federation Victoria's CEO Mitchell Murphy said the body was honoured to be working alongside the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, with assistance from Vic Health, in raising awareness of sexual and gender diversity in the football code.
"FFV welcomes feedback from its stakeholders that can assist in rewarding and recognising clubs that demonstrate inclusive practices.
"Pride Football Australia's tournament organised by Melbourne Rovers this weekend, is a perfect example of bringing together football players and supporters from around Australia, regardless of gender and sexuality. It is terrific to see a tournament celebrating the diversity and inclusivity of the world game," Mr Murphy said.
"FFV is committed to developing and promoting an education program about SSASGD issues and see Fair go, sport! as a pivotal part of that. In addition FFV will review its policies, programs and processes to incorporate clear SSASGD references."
Mr Murphy said that FFV will continue to spread the message of what is and what is not acceptable behaviour on and off the field. FFV maintains a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of anti-social conduct and encourages fair play and behavior.
Ms Jenkins said it was wonderful that the announcement coincides with the Pride Football Australia Tournament and congratulated the organisers on playing a key role in promoting sexual and gender diversity.
Ms Jenkins said the tournament was also an opportunity to remind people that despite 30 years of equal opportunity law in Victoria, the SSASGD community still faced discrimination, exclusion and victimisation.
Fair go, sport! is a joint initiative supported by Sport & Recreation Victoria, VicHealth and the Australian Sports Commission and is managed by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. For more information, please visit www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/fairgosport.
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission media contact: Anna Craig
Phone: (03) 9032 3482 | Mobile: 0459 114 657 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Football Federation Victoria media contact : Sammie Black
Phone : 0419 326 362 | Email: email@example.com